September 17, 2007.
Online ethnic warfare reached new heights early last year when South Korean online gamers carried out an online massacre of Chinese farmers (crazy but true). And then a few weeks ago internet ethnic clashes reached an absurd new level when Chinese kung-fu monks threatened to sue an internet troll (possibly Japanese) who announced that a Japanese ninja showed up at a Shaolin temple and thrashed the Chinese martial arts monks in unarmed combat. Reuters reports:
“The so-called defeat is purely fabricated, and we demand the Internet user to apologise to the whole nation for the wrongs he or she did,” the Beijing News said, citing a notice announced by a lawyer for the Shaolin monks. “It is not only extremely irresponsible behaviour with respect to the Shaolin temple and its monks, but also to the whole martial art and Chinese nation,” it quoted the monks as saying.
So how about Afghanistan? How are online relations between the angry kids? I’ll confine this qualitative survey to those Afghans in the West and in Pakistan who prefer to insult each other en anglais (French makes me sound witty and cosmopolitan, huh?). Let’s take a look at the available English language sources: I’ll start with Youtube, the peaceful meeting place of the youth.
The first interesting video I found was titled: “F**k immigrants. Long live the Original Afghans.” Very subtle! The theory in operation here is that Pashtuns are the original people of Afghanistan and everyone else is an ethnic intruder. One of the commenters remarked: “I hate Hazaras.” The funny thing is that the author of the vid is very likely an immigrant in some other country.
A commenter elsewhere on Youtube remarked:
Pashtuns are the ones who came to Khorasan. They did not build Kabul, Herat or Mazar. They came there and now they are trying to steal it and claim their own. Typical for savages.
A Pashtun commenter then had this to say:
..savage and honorless tajik people got allways some noncense crap they come whit, did ur mother or sister build afghanistan, bache khar…tajike ghool
Son of a donkey? The insults are just like one would imagine.
Pashtuns receive some payback in a video titled: “Pashtun Taliban Homos performing Attan dance in Paktia.” The video is actually an old (and interesting) film clip of dancing somewhere near the Durand Line. The video was posted by a user named “nuristaniguy.” It’s nice to see such a small minority group getting in on the online bigotry.
The video inspires this comment:
Look at this video, your Pakhtoon Gays. ahahahahh And its a fact that Kandahar is the Gay Capital in the world. ahahahah Did you forget, that to be ‘Kooni’ is a big Gunnah?? But you Pakhtoon Kafirs are sooo Stupid. Look: pakhtoons get every day f**ked by americans and Punjabis. ahahaha khar kos kooniah
[note: Pakhtoon=Pashtun, Kooni=faggot, khar=donkey, gunnah=sin, kafir=infidel]
Again Pashtuns get bashed in this comment:
Pashtoons are the MINORITY you stupid Kochi. go back to your cave and leave afghanistan for civilized people Pashtoons were brought as SLAVES from Pakistan by Arians/Greeks and today they are Taliban faggots lol
This view of Pashtuns as homosexual nomadic cave-dweller slaves brought by the Greeks from the east is, in my humble opinion, somewhat problematic.
And now back to the Hazaras, where the slurs usually end up with the slur bin-i puchuq (flat nose):
OH MY GOD lollll These hazaras talking about beauty hahaha u got no nose no eyes… deformed people hahah
…who are the Hazara ? Who do they feel closest to ? Iranians, Afghans, Mongols, Turks, or Apes ?
Even the Iranians get into the Hazara-bashing:
Too much Hazaran people in Mahshad. Go back to Afghanistan, Iran is not ur place. Go back to estupid Afghanistan and kell each other.
I should concede that some commenters online plead for sanity:
We are all Afghans and we stand United against assholes like u. No matter what ethnic group we are from we might have arguments with each other but that’s just normal in a family. Pashtoon, Tajik, Hazara, Uzback and so on are all members of one family.
However, they are usually in the minority (and often have female or feminine sounding user names). They are usually drowned out by these slightly angry people’s comments:
- pashton are all savages and barbarian. they even sell their wives. no other ppl in any part of the world act dishonorablly like this.
- F**k u all pakis bitchsssssssssssss Long Life Hazara and Hazaristan !!
- thank god im tajik i dont wanna be hazara and especially not stinky pashtun go rot in hell ugly creatures.. PersianTajik4Life
- afghanistan is the home land for pashtuns only, dirty hazaras go back to monglolia, tajik skanks, go and lick ur presidents ass in tajikistan, wot the f**k take the uzbeks wid u as well, afghanistan = son of saul, home land for the pashtuns only, get the f**k out of our country!!!!!!
Well enough of Youtube. How about the blogosphere? Well, in response to Fahim Khairy’s not too subtle analysis of Hazara-Kuchi relations titled “Ethno-fascists under the pretense of torch bearers of democracy in Afghanistan,” a commenter said this:
These Kuchis should get banned from Afghanistan like Pakistan did in 1948. We have to make the same thing. Kuchis, as main supporter of talibanism and facism should get challenge today. They should get hunt by NA and NATO-Troups. All their goods should go to the country´s economic. One day, maybe not today or tomorrow but one day we will send this apes to hell.
A counter-commenter then responded:
Hazara people in central mountains of Afghanistan actually living in caves. It is crazy, these Hazaras give all Afghans a bad name by living in caves like rats. Now, since this blogger is a Shia Hazara, why would we wanna listen to what a rat has to say about the elite Pashtuns of Afghanistan who are making their country become modernized as the west? It appears that rats are jealous of the elites (Pashtuns). Another thing is this, Hazaras (chinese looking, with big round flat faces) are unattractive people to everyone, meaning no girl wants to date or marry a Hazara because they are considered the ugly people of Afghanistan, similar as the Mongolians, who are considered one of the ugliest people world wide. Pashtuns are very attractive people, every Hazara girl wants to marry a Pashtun so that their children are born good looking as Pashtuns. This is the primary reason why Hazaras hate Pashtuns. A person who is born ugly and is full of hate, racism, and jealousy is the lowest person you can imagine. Look at Afghanistan as a whole, which is the poorest and least developed among the rest of the nations in the world. In this poorest and least developed country of Afghanistan, there comes these Hazara people who are the ugliest, poorest, and evil people of all….means Hazaras are ranked as the lowest people on earth. Pashtuns are laughing at thess suckers Hazaras, who think they are in charge of the country, when in reality Hazaras are the cart pushers in every city of Afghanistan.
And then in response to the above:
You sucker better go to Afghanistan and live with your sucking-Pashtoon tribal laws than live in a modern worold. You supremacist Pashtoons deserve a good share of NatO bombs on your house….like your people are expericing in Afghanista. Wow, what a joy it is to hear news about NATO bombs being dropped on Pashtoons in Afghanistan. Wow, what a joy is it….Life has never been so joyfull to me.
A familiar commenter who likely represents the majority opinion of Afghan readers (but importantly the minority opinion of commenters) says this in response:
I just want to take issue with Parsistani’s recommendations on sending these “apes to hell.” Like all other people of Afghanistan, Kuchis are part of the bona fide citizenry of this country. Suggesting to eliminate them or even their way of life is as discriminatory and distasteful as suggesting to eliminate all Hazaras or Tajiks et al.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the shrill and angry people are much more likely to post a comment than the reasonable and compassionate.
How about at a higher intellectual level? Commenters in response to a blog post by Barnett Rubin had better grammar and were somewhat more polite (although some comments were deleted. I assume those were of Youtube quality). But still, the ethnic blame-game still persists.
How about on forums where there is a moderator? Sample this from an afghanforums.com commenter who calls himself a Farsiwan (good luck with using that identity for ethnoreligious political mobilization!)
You be supprised to find that Tajiks just make up less then 5% of the nation and they came from Bokara/Samarkand. During 1920 there were 600,000 of been recorded entering Afghanistan (NOW THEY ARE AFGHANIZED) But idiot Russians intentionally or unintentionally added another 25% Darians as part of them. Tajiks are Turkic people of PArsi speakers of Central Asia. They are mixed Mongolid/Turkic/Aryanic (Afghan/Iranian) and Arabs. They are not different then their Uzbek brothers, and their Genetic makeup is almost same as Hazaras. In fact they look Uzbek and sometimes Afghan (After all Southern Tajikistan was part of Afghanistan and native of that region still carry their Afghan looks.
We admit there are Tajikistanis among us and in fact Rabani accepted another 500,000 of them during Tajik civil war of Tajikistan and those people were given Afghan passports and in 2001 everyone living in Afghanistan (Including Arabs/Chachis/Uzbeks/Kazaks/Tajiks) were given Afghan passport saying “AFGHAN” where as it used to be “TAjikistani/Tajik/Uzbekistani/Uzbek) and that’s how the new national antum is designed for everyone.
BELIEVE me I as a Farsiwan been to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and other nations and I know how Afghan looks like and how they are recognized. For those who say Farsiwans and Tajiks are same LOL then you are far lost into the dark.
Let the one man Farsiwan versus Tajik War begin [sic!] (Note: Farsiwan are Shia).
Some users do get banned from afghanforums.com. But you have to be quite overt to get kicked out. It’s better, but still sad.
Anyways, all of this is no different from the average young internet bigot in Europe or America (they’re just like us! How cute!). This sort of online rhetoric is quite common to all people. But the problem is that Afghanistan is in about year 30 of war. Fostering hatred online is probably not the best idea given recent history. But still it seems some young online Afghans want to start another full-scale civil war along even tighter ethnic lines than before (a war which of course they will decline to directly participate in).
Of course you will find civil exchanges online among Afghans, but unfortunately you may have to wade through some of the above trash to find it. Good luck.